Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mothers and Daughters

There are a few things that can knock the wind out of your sails so immediately, so completely, that your world doesn’t spin the same way after. One of those things is cancer.

My mom just found out that she has a spot on her kidney.

My mom.


How do I reconcile that? I heard the words, as my dad told me so matter-of-factly, as if he’d had weeks to practice exactly how to state the problem and its path of action. But he only had a handful of minutes, which is amazing. I felt something click inside me at the word, something forever changed, this thing invading our lives. I did my best to hold it together with Sammy standing right next to me, but I still sank to the floor. Part of me still wants to be there, letting my brain run rampant with confusion, fear, even self pity. But I couldn’t do that, so I stood up, and went about the business of being a mom myself, taking my kids where they needed to go, putting on a strong face, just like she taught me. Well, she and the old deodorant commercial that implored me to never let them see you sweat.

Clearly, she’s taking her own lessons to heart. I saw her face crumple for maybe half a second, and then it was gone, and all I could see was resolution, fight, and determination. She’s trying to take care of all of us, which is both a little kind and a little crazy, but that’s us – after all, I am my mother’s daughter.

I did the two things I could do in this situation: go hug my mom right away, and pray. I will continue to do both often and as continually as possible.

There are still so many questions, but as I understand it, the solution is completely surgical and won’t require radiation or chemotherapy. It’s hard to know whether that’s good or bad news – I guess it’s both.

Mom went to the doctor for an entirely unrelated situation, and they found this, in the very early stages, quite by coincidence. She made the appointment in part because of the kidney problems I’d had in the past few years, which we can trace back to my being pregnant with Sabrina. So I can thank my daughter for helping save my mother’s life. Wrap your head around that.

I love both of them so very much it makes my head swim.

The inside of my head is swirling right now. The engineer in me just wants to roll up her sleeves and fix the problem already, yet I know it’s not that simple. Or maybe it is, but it’s not me who can do the fixing. But I’m ready to fight this battle in whatever way I’m needed or by any means I can. We will do this.

All prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes are much appreciated.

(No, Mom, I am not trying to make you cry, so you just quit that business right now.)


  1. I'm so sorry. I hope everything goes as well as possible and the surgery takes care of it.

  2. That's so hard. I'm thinking of you and your family. I'll be praying for you mama.

  3. I'm sorry this is happening. I will be thinking lots of positive thoughts for you.

  4. ugh!
    1) I hate cancer. I just do.
    2) a parent with cancer is just so hard in a weird way that I haven't been able to put into words, no matter how often I ramble about it
    3) you totally have our prayers & support in this.
    4) surgery isn't anything to sneeze at, but if they can get it without the long, slow, poisoning process of chemo/radiation, that is a win. a scary, punch-in-the-gut kind of win, but still a win.